Turning a Pizza topping into a Pasta sauce

I’m not professional and I don’t play one on TV.  And since I’m not, I don’t tend to stray too far from a recipe. The only time I do is when it comes to pizza. I’ll try just about anything. The first pizza I made was my own concoction (which I’ll cover in a future post), but often I look to someone else to provide the inspiration.  In this instance, it was the Puttanesca Pizza from Rachel Ray:


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons anchovy paste or 6 fillets flat anchovies
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped pitted good quality black olives
Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 prepared thin crust pizza shell (recommended: Boboli)
3/4 pound very thinly sliced fresh or fresh smoked mozzarella


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, anchovy paste and red pepper flakes. When anchovies (if whole) melt or garlic is tender, about 2 minutes, add tomatoes and olives. Simmer sauce 3 to 4 minutes. Top the pizza with sauce and the sliced cheese. Bake until pizza until cheese melts and crust is crisp, 10 minutes. Cut and serve.

Now while I have made this pizza (it’s great), that’s not the point of this post…

…a small tangent.  If you do make the pizza then 1- I recommend you use the thin crust Boboli instead of the original.  Since the sauce is not as thick as a typical marinara sauce, the original crust tends to absorb it like a sponge. This doesn’t happen with the thin crust.  2- I prefer to break up the mozzarella into little chucks and spread it all over the pizza versus cutting into slabs.  It improves the presentation and it makes sure that you get cheese in every bite. 3- There will be leftover sauce so don’t panic when you realize half of it remains…

…where I’m going with this is that the toppings for this pizza makes an excellent pasta sauce.

If you go the pasta route the recipe is pretty much as-is (minus the mozzarella and the pizza crust).  I would cut the anchovies in half before tossing them in the pot and be forewarned that they will cause spatters.

If you are not an anchovy fan, don’t fret. They cook down to nothing, contributing only their flavor to the result.

I don’t know what to tell you if you can’t locate fire roasted tomatoes.  I purchase the Muir Glen brand, but it’s the only fire roasted tomato brand found at my Harris Teeter. They’re not cheap, but swapping for regular tomatoes would definitely alter the taste; most likely killing  it.

The only other change to the recipe… and I recommend this for the pizza version too… is that you cook the sauce for a minimum of 20 minutes.  3 to 4 is not long enough for the flavors to infuse.

The final presentation (and yes, I forgot to sprinkle on the parsley).

One pot of sauce goes with one box of spaghetti. Can you tell I was hungry?

And before someone asks, the wine is a 2005 pinot noir from Land’s End Vineyards.  Its absolutely heaven and a great pairing (thanks Rocky).

~ by Genevieve on 2009.12.31.

One Response to “Turning a Pizza topping into a Pasta sauce”

  1. […] Gorgonzola. If you love it like me, keep on reading. If you don’t… well… try something else. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: